Eddie Johnson: More than 1K extra cops on the street over Memorial Day weekend

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Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson speaking at CPD headquarters Tuesday. He was joined by leaders of the Chicago Fire Department, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Illinois State Police, DEA and ATF. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson announced Tuesday that the department will be ramping up officer deployment over Memorial Day weekend in an effort to curb shootings over the historically violent holiday.

More than 1,000 additional officers will be deployed citywide over the weekend, Johnson said at a press conference at CPD headquarters. There will also be an influx in officer deployment throughout the summer as well.

“You’ll see a significant presence, obviously, on the lakefront, downtown areas, but they’ll also be in the communities, so we’re not leaving any area of the city untouched,” Johnson said.

Johnson was joined by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, Chicago Fire Dept. Commissioner Jose Santiago, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz, DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian McKnight and ATF Special Agent in Charge Celinez Nunez.

“I think our message today is pretty clear: Whether it’s state, city or federal law enforcement, our job this summer is to help keep people in Chicago safe. That’s mission number one,” Lausch said.

Johnson said that the CPD and other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies had “put together a comprehensive strategy to promote peace and safety throughout the city both this weekend and throughout the summer.”

Johnson deflected when asked how the influx in officers would be paid for, but department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said officers’ “elective time off was canceled” and “days off were adjusted for the weekend.”

Only some teams assigned to work the weekend would be paid through overtime, he added.

“You can’t put a price on safety, you just can’t,” Johnson said. “And so I just want to thank the mayor and City Council for giving CPD the resources we need to help keep this city safe.”

As it did last year, the department will also execute arrest warrants of for those who are likely to engage in weekend violence, Johnson said.

“Anything that we can do to prevent violence in the city, we’re going to do,” he said.

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